Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The House that Ruth Built

Snuggly wrapped in my warm afghan, I listened to the hollow gurgling in my chest. Sneezing, I readjusted, laying my head on a pillow, moving the TV into my line of site. The final game of the Yankees’ season is about to begin. In the chair next to me, my boyfriend digs in. Preparing himself for the game that would determine whether or not the blue bombers would win their division. Closing my eyes against the glare of the morning sun, I let my mind wander to the only game I had attended at the old Yankee stadium.

It had rained that day, mixing the daily heat with a layer of humidity that clung to your clothes. The stadium gates were scheduled to open at 12:30, so in his typical baseball-obsessed fashion, my boyfriend had ensured our arrival to be no later than an hour before noon. When a downpour began shortly thereafter, we couldn’t retreat into the stadium. Instead we donned cheap ponchos in an effort to stay dry. I wore pink and he sported green as we crowded underneath the subway tracks outside of the house that Ruth built, listening to the babble of excited voices and the rumbling of the passing trains.

My eyes had raced to take in every detail, to trace the path of the legends into their home field. Reading his words on the wall, I felt a wave of pride and camaraderie swell within me. Like Joe DiMaggio, I too had wanted to thank the good lord for making me a Yankee. Faith in the team had given me a reason for endless hope. At the game in New York, I finally had the opportunity to pay homage to the great ones entombed in Monument Park.

My head throbbed as my body succumbed to a series of coughs. I caught my breath, cursing the cold that was denying a lifelong nose breather the ability to inhale comfortably. “No!” groaned my partner, his head in his hands. The Yankees overthrew the ball again, racking up an error and letting the opposition place another runner in scoring position.

Today’s game is decidedly less glamorous, held in Boston, the home of our eternal rivals. A dozen perfect opportunities to dominate have been presented and tossed aside like yesterday’s newspaper. The boys in blue are now behind but the bases are loaded. Silently crossing my fingers, I hold my breath along with thousands of other believers as the slugger saunters to the plate.